September 30, 2023

By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic is expected to settle down in the near future. When I say “settle down”, I do not mean that everything will be fine instantly. There are two differing opinions about the future of Coronavirus pandemic. A group of people believe that with the invention of the coronavirus vaccine in the near future, the world would get rid of this virus.

There is another group of people who believe that it would not be possible for the world to get rid of the virus through vaccines only. They believe that in one way or another, people would get used to the virus. They argue that the world does not have any vaccines for AIDS or Cancer. At its prime AIDS had led to many deaths, and a horrible scenario was available, but with the passage of time, people get used to the way of life that would reduce infecting with AIDS.

Cancer is a different type of disease. It is also killing many people the world over. Every other day we hear the news of someone close to us, having cancer. The medical world has some broad ideas about the reasons for cancer, but they too do not know what exactly is the reason for cancer. With the passage of time, the world has got used to cancer and the deaths of people.

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The important point is that the world has learned how to get used to these diseases. They now know what should be avoided and what steps we must take if we want not to have cancer or AIDS. Not all are able to take the necessary measures, but over a period of time, we have accepted the existence of such dangers in our society.

The same maybe with the Coronavirus too. Now we know how we can avoid getting infected. Everyone knows that keeping ourselves locked inside our houses is the initial reaction of the world. To a great extent, these measures appear to be succeeding, and the situation is getting better day by day, the world over. But the world cannot remain locked for an indefinite period. The economic activities are bound to be restored. Then human beings are bound to come out of isolation and attend to their daily routines.

The only option is to adjust ourselves to the changed circumstances now. The severe impact of this virus can be reduced to a great extent by taking some personal actions. But these actions are supposed to be adopted by the whole of society. For this, to a great extent, the social and cultural practices are bound to change.

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For example, the practice of shaking hands appears to have no future now. Other forms of greetings people would adopt and become part of the culture in the very near future. People may be saluting each other informally, or just raising one hand would be considered sufficient to exchange greetings. Maybe in the future we would be just saying good morning or good evening, for example, without shaking hands, and that would be considered socially acceptable.

The practice of keeping the social distances would in this case, become permanent. The seating arrangements in public transport, waiting halls, restaurants, etc etc would go through a major change. There would be less seats in the buses or trains. people would not be touching everything here and there.

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We all would get used to using gloves and the cleaning habits too would go through change. People would be washing their faces and hands more frequently. The consumption of water would increase.

The system of entering into markets and other shops would be changed. We would all get used to waiting outside the doors. There would always be only a prescribed number of persons inside any market or shopping centre. An electronic display of numbers of persons inside the shopping centre, for example, would be used as a tool for not allowing more people to enter. We all would become used to this practice. Maybe the automatic doors would be programmed not to allow any more people inside.

The seating arrangements in schools, workplaces, etc would also go through a drastic change.

Most probably the practice of drinking hot water would take the place of drinking cold water.

Maybe in the future, the period of self isolation would reduce, so people would prefer to self isolate themselves voluntarily.

Above all, I am sure people would realise, accept, and bring to life the idea that a strong immune system is basically what we all need to be healthy.

However, even if the vaccine is found, and the world gets rid of Coronavirus, even then I feel there is a need for bringing in some positive changes in the social and culture setup the world over.

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